For this video, 280 Group CEO and Founder, Brian Lawley, talks with Bill Haines, who is not only a Product Management Consultant and Trainer, but an expert in positioning, messaging, and influencing people.
Bill is asked to describe the tree types of audiences a Product Manager might be pitching to and what the strategy might be for each one of those people to make sure that they have the highest likelihood of accepting your ideas and going along with you.
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Bill starts by establishing that when you have a group of ideas that you’re pitching, you usually have one that you think is really the best. You want make sure your best idea gets the best reception possible.
Generally we encounter three types of personalities in people that may be in the conference room with you.
The first are what we call contrarians, these are folks who want or need to reject things/ideas.
Next are a group that Bill calls bonders, these are people who will latch on to the first thing you tell them, they bond to that idea and they’re not going to let go of it.
The third personality type is neutral, they’ll sit back and listen to all the ideas and then they’ll decide.
So if you want to strategize about how to pitch the idea that you really want to get across, you need to do some observation and some planning.
If you are going with a contrarian and you know that’s the personality of this person, pitch your worst idea first. You need a throwaway because they are going to toss it out, it doesn’t matter what it is, if you gave them the best one they would toss it out. Start with the worst, get a little better, save your best for last.
If you are talking with a bonder, you want them to bond with your best idea, so you go with your best idea first. Then you can throw in your second and third ideas in whatever order you like, it shouldn’t really matter after they bonded with your best.
For a truly neutral person, it obviously doesn’t’ really matter that much, but Bill likes to lead with the second best idea so you don’t throw them off immediately by giving them an idea that may be a little less than what they want. Then thrown in the best one or the worst one. Either way they will likely wait until the end to decide.